Cape Town e-commerce startup Shopstar raises funding

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Cape Town-based online startup Shopstar, which allows small and medium-sized businesses set up and manage mobile-friendly online stores, has raised funding from KAMERS and Nona Creative.  

Launched in 2013, Shopstar is tapping into the potential for big marketplaces in the online space, and has developed an endorsement model to promote small businesses.

The startup has now teamed up with KAMERS – the biggest retail pop-up market in South Africa – and Nona Creative – a digital product development and consultation studio – to continue its development.

“KAMERS have a wealth of experience in retail and in nurturing emerging brands to become successful and develop their potential. Nona Creative is one of the top digital product development studio in the country. By combining forces and signing them on, Shopstar is now able to expand, set up the business for a viable future and to develop the marketplace concept to its full potential locally and abroad,” said Jens Herf, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of Shopstar.

“An online marketplace brings together individual shops under their specific and powerful brand. Similar to markets and magazines in the real world this gives smaller shops an extra distribution and marketing channel. In return, the digital marketplace earns a commission for every product endorsed and sold via their website.”

The marketplace is able to invite any brand and shop, with their endorsements meaning they have full control over the product mix.  

“Distribution and stock control is managed by the individual shop, so the marketplace doesn’t have to worry about any additional time-consuming administration. A win-win for both sides,” Herf said.

“For the last few months we have been working on the endorsement tracking model to ensure that each sale gets tracked accurately. This was launched on June 30 and the first transactions have taken place.”

KAMERS co-owner Magdel Kemp, who is now also Shopstar’s COO, said KAMERS was excited to be working with Shopstar and Nona Creative.

“Our own new digital market has already grown from a small online shop to a massive marketplace with more than 40 stores and hundreds of beautiful, hand-picked products to choose from. It creates an extra income stream for KAMERS with no hassle at all,” Kemp said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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